Follow My Journey, or Reach Out And Connect:

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Scripture Sunday, Week 12

This is the twelfth part of an ongoing series going through 1 Thessalonians. The first part can be found here.

"Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate,and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." -1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11

I write these a little in advance so I admit reading this I wonder if my labor pains will have come upon me? (If you didn't know I am doing this study while pregnant and this is due to be published when I am 34 weeks 6 days!) It's not impossible, though I hope the baby will stay in there a little longer...

But being in that time of my life gives me some insight into this passage that I haven't had in the past. Okay, let's get started. "Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night." He is saying that they are aware that the end of times will not be advertised. (This and several other passages are why when you hear that someone has calculated the exact date of the apocalypse you should just ignore them.) "While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape." Most people will not have any idea that the end is coming and it will be inescapable.

"But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober." In this the apostles are saying that while we don't know the exact day and hour, that doesn't mean we should be ignorant that the end is coming. Actually I admit, being a pregnant woman in her third trimester, I still feel like this fits in the pregnancy metaphor. While it's true I don't know exactly when my labor pains will hit, I do know that they're coming. I could just blithely go through life as if they weren't or instead I could be preparing. I could be preparing for the baby, preparing my body for labor, packing a hospital bag, etc. I could be vigilant or I act as though I was ignorant about the impending birth. In many ways that's what the apostles are saying. They are saying that we know that the end the near so we shouldn't live as though we don't but should be vigilant about it. Only in their thief metaphor there's a lot more that changes than the pregnant woman metaphor. That is many women have gone to the hospital without nurseries set up and without their hospital bag and they still have a baby... but how different would it be if you don't know that a thief is going to break in your house versus if you do? Obviously it'd be very different! You'd probably have the police on standby, maybe a dog at the ready or a weapon. You might be able to catch the thief intead of letting the thief catch you unawares.

We must remember that when the end of the world comes, we're not like the unbelievers who sadly shall see all the beauty end. Instead there will be a very different ending for us as we go to join Jesus, in Truth, a very different beginning. I think that's part of the depth of what is being covered here by saying "you are children of the light and children of the day." Because we have faith in Jesus we can have an entirely different outlook on the end, and this should change how we approach it.

"For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate,and the hope of salvation as a helmet." The end times will not be fun and games for even us. But they will be more like the labor pains in that they're ushering in something beautiful. Therefore while the metaphors here are preparing for war, they are preparing with love and the hope of salvation. The challenges of the end times do not mean that we have any right to despair for we know who Christ is!

"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." Honestly I'm reading that and thinking "what can I add to that or expand from that?" and really I think it says it all! He is our Hope and our Salvation and we have every reason to be encouraged!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for comments, they delight me! Please keep your comments civil and while I read every comment, I reserve the right to delete ones that are especially negative. Thanks!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...